The new year is nearly here, and you likely have some health goals in mind. But they don’t have to come at the cost of your social life. Dry January? More like boring weekends. Sure, you can spend your weekends inside binge-watching to avoid binge drinking, but do you really want to miss date night for a month? Get out and enjoy, because life is about balance. Head to the pub on the weekend, but for this month (actually, any month), incorporate some of these easy menu hacks I’ve learned as a chef.

With some simple requests, you can still enjoy a night out without sabotaging your diet goals. But if you really, truly need to ease any of the guilt, make the next morning a leg day.

ASK AND RECEIVE

No matter where you eat, you’ll have plenty of menu options to choose from—meat or fish, vegetarian or vegan, gluten-free or non-GMO, even Italian or Indian. Whatever your preference, there’s always a way that’s not necessarily on the menu to “healthify” your meals a bit. It’s OK to ask your server how your steak or fish is prepared—request for yours to be grilled or sautéed in olive or coconut oil instead of butter. If opting for fish, your preparer should have no problem steaming it in order to reduce calories. Some chefs may not like having to adjust their dishes for creativity, but most will be more than helpful and willing to accommodate your eating choices.

Keep reading for a few more ways you can make your meals a bit healthier while dining out.

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